Monday, March 31, 2008

Invisible, Invincible

Today is the last official day of my current job. I'm logging in but not going in. Why?
Because people don't know how to act.

I've been on a consulting contract for the last 8 months with this company. About a month ago, I was notified that they would not be renewing the contract (the company is going into re-org, there's no adequate role for me, and I'm very expensive as a contractor), and that my last day would be March 31. Subsequently, two weeks ago, I was given formal notice of contract ending, per agreed upon contract terms.

So the last two weeks, I've continued to engage as much a possible, to try to remain active on my way out. But people have acted so strangely. When they found out I was leaving at the end of the month, they started literally ignoring my presence in the office.
Now I would expect that people would stop giving me new work to do, etc. But literally, people started ignoring the fact that I was even there. I would walk through the room, and no one would acknowledge my presence. No hello, no smiles, even their eyes would not fall upon me. It was the oddest feeling. I felt like I was invisible.

So I decided not to go in any longer. I'm fine with the contract ending and wanted to try to remain productive through my last day since they were paying me for it, but people just got so weird about it all, I decided to stop going in. And quite frankly, I feel better for it. It gave me such a strange feeling to be treated that way. I decided not to subject myself to it any longer.

Onward and the next chapter....starting tomorrow...whatever it is....

Monday, March 24, 2008

In Bruges

I've never been a Colin Farrell fan. To me, he always looks like he smells bad. Just by looking at him, I almost want to wrinkle my nose at the potential stench of stale beer and cigarettes....and that's enough to turn me off of most anyone, even in cinema, where smell is not a sense traditionally employed.

But this past weekend, I saw a flick that has me giving Mr. Farrell his props. "In Bruges" was an unexpected pleasure. And he exhibited impressive acting range in it -- from quirky comedy to intense drama and back. Quite well done. At times, he even looked like he smelled pretty good, like maybe he could clean up well if he wanted to.

I hadn't heard of "In Bruges" until about two hours prior to was playing down the street, a quick scan of the reviews sounded decent, and Bruges is actually the only city in Belgium anyone in my house has actually visited, so we threw caution and $8 each to the wind and strolled down to the art cinema to check it out.

I have to say it was quite entertaining. It's a dark comedy with quirks. Familiar faces, unfamiliar faces...all interesting, odd characters with fun and creative dialogue. A British film, it also stars Ralph Fiennes (a short, but impressive contribution) and Brendan Gleeson (familiar face, unfamiliar name for me) and a few other oddly cast actors which really worked. I even liked the only American references in the film -- an arrogant, racist dwarf and an overweight tourist from New York. Americans weren't exactly reflected in the kindest of lights, but it added to the film and is probably more spot on than most of us care to admit.

A good film, it's not a moneymaker for sure. It was the opener at Sundance this year, but so far, it's only in limited release, doing $5m to date in the US. I don't know why really. All I can figure is that they just didn't spend much on marketing this flick. It has to be a word of mouth thing.
So I'm here to pass it on -- word of mouth. It's a fun film, with dramatic moments....heart rendering even....and definitely worth the price of admission. Go, enjoy, see Colin Farrell clean up and smell good. It's worth the $8.
Word of caution: The language is quite colorful. If you can't handle the 4-letter word catalogue, don't bother. But if you can look past it, it's great fun.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Faith and Hope

I realize in this day and time, spirituality, faith and religion are considered by many 'progessives' to be outdated, frivolous, even a sign of a lack of intelligent thinking. Any mention of God, and one is automatically labeled a nutcase, clouded by myth and incapable of logical, independent thinking. You suddenly become 'one of those crazies', spoken of in hushed tones, with rolled eyes.

Well, isn't that just too bad. In this day and time, I think we need God more than ever in our lives. Pick your religion, your faith, your deity...whatever works for you. Without it, I don't understand how anyone can have hope. And what is life without hope?

Like many Christians, I attended church this Easter morning. The message? Renewal. Each and every day, we have a chance to start over. No matter how bad your thoughts or actions were today, yesterday, the day before....each and every new sunrise offers the opportunity for renewal. A chance to turn it all around. Hope. There's that word again.

So...believe in something. Embrace something. Find hope in something. If you've never been able to make the leap, tomorrow offers the chance to start all over and do just that. Afterall, what do you have to lose?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter in Big D

I have returned to Dallas for Easter weekend and few days beyond. It's the first time I've seen the sun in Dallas in a while. The few days I've spent here this year have all been cold and rainy, a disappointment after looking forward to 'going urban' so we could walk everywhere. But today, it's sunny and beautiful, as are many spring days here. We walked everywhere yesterday and enjoyed the blue sky, daffodils, tulips and budding trees all along the way. Dallas does spring really well, I must say.

It's so nice to be away from the office in Florida and the work wind-down that is going on. Being in the office is a negative now, because people are already treating me like I'm not there. It's a downer, and I just need to remove myself from it. But I feel like they are paying me through March 31, and I should at least be making an effort to add some sort of value.

But for the next few days, I'll work remotely from Dallas, so it's nice to be away from the negative environment. If not out of mind, at least it's out of sight. And that helps.

Plus, I am talking to other companies about moving on to new opportunities, and that's a positive for me. So things are moving along, in transition, and I will be on my way with something else shortly.

Happy Easter, all.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Short Timer's Syndrome

I have less than two weeks left on the job, and I am finding it difficult to care.

I don't want to get up and go. I don't want to be there. I don't want to focus on work while I'm there. And in the evening, I don't want to think about going there again tomorrow. I mean, what's the point, really? We both know I'm just cruising now, biding my time until all the sand runs out. What's the rush to show up, give it my all, or try to get excited about anything there now?

I really think I ought to just hang out at home and let the time play itself out. I'm like a dead woman walking, so why fake it? *sigh*

Saturday, March 15, 2008

One Step Ahead, Two Back

This strikes me as a tough week for women. What we all know and can do nothing about once again hits us between the headlines: Women are most valued in the world for one thing: sex.

Re: the NY governer and his fall from grace with a prostitution scandal. Looks like the 'straight arrow' governor was taking the straight route to extramarital sex - he was paying for it. And not just a little bit of money. A LOT OF MONEY. Thousands of dollars a trick. Ouch.

I ask....really, how good could sex be to make it worth that kind of money? And the risk? How could it be worth risking your entire career and lifestyle?

Despite the governor being the one to get publicly nailed on this, part of the reason it's been a tough week for women is that the latest hooker he was caught with is now a celebrity. An aspiring and unknown singer to date, she's now charging money to let people listen to her sing on her website, and she will pass the $1M mark within days. She's already been offered a boatload of money to appear in Penthouse. No doubt she'll have her own talk show and line of cosmetics soon....probably a movie part and a debut album. Voila! Her career is launched.

The hard part? That's for the rest of us. Once again, we are reminded, as women, it does not matter how hard we work at legitimate jobs, how smart we are, how dedicated we are to our work, how much real value we can add to the world.....if we'd simply just sell our bodies for sex, we'd leap way ahead of most other women (and men) in our careers, in our financial status and our lifestyles.

Why is it that no matter how far we think we've come, when you look into the dark crannies of what really goes on in society, we're still most valued for the one thing we've been valued on for years. Yes, that.

The other reason it's been a tough week for women? Spitzer's wife. Standing there dutifully by her husband's side while he confesses his behavior to the world and publicly acknowledges his betrayal of her, for all the world to watch. Can you imagine her nightmare? And why is she expected to stand there and support him? Why should she have to stand there and be cast in his shadow after he so pubicly destroyed her life?

In the end, we have a woman engaged in the world's oldest profession, now made. And we have a woman standing by her man, now destroyed. It's pretty clear, despite the obvious act at hand, which of these women really got screwed in this scenario. One would expect the former to be shamed and take a societal fall. But it's really the latter suffering that.. The former is ashamed all the way to the bank and the spotlight.

Tough week for women. But mostly a tough week and an ugly commentary on society, I'd say.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's in the Air


There are a couple of ways to look at it.

I could be frightened by it.

I could look at it as an opportunity.

I have the power to choose, and I choose the latter.
And why not? Change is inevitable. It's the only constant. And I want to take advantage of it. No risk, no reward. No guts, no glory.

There's a change coming in my work. My consulting contract is up at the end of the month. It likely won't be renewed, but the company may offer me a fulltime position instead. Doing what, I'm not sure. There's a reorg going on, and I don't know what will fall out of it. Ultimately, there may be nothing there for me at all. Or I may get tapped to head up something. I just don't know yet.

And to mix it up a bit -- all of a sudden - *presto* - there are three potential opportunities that have appeared on my career horizon. Three potentially great career moves to be explored, discussed, analyzed and sorted out. No, I don't have offers in hand yet. It's too early for that. But I do have people who have reached out to me with keen interest. And the timing on that is just incredible, truly.

So I look ahead positively and explore the next potential career chapter. I don't know what will happen, but in the end, I know it will be okay. I have confidence in myself. God has given me many gifts, and I trust Him to light my path. I feel a very positive vibe in the air.

Change? Bring it.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

In a Word: Annoying

I don't think I've ever used this word to describe a movie until tonight, but I just saw "Vantage Point" and the only word that leaps to mind to describe it is 'annoying'. In a big way.

If you haven't seen it, I won't spoil it for you, but the film backs itself up 20 minutes over and over and over again, to give you the different perspectives of 5 people who experienced the same scene. Interesting in concept, but it failed in execution.

The first time it backed up, it was okay. The second time....well, alright. By the time they backed it up the fifth time, I was ready to throw my popcorn bag at the screen. I simply did not have time for this.

In addition, the acting was awful, the dialogue was flat, the script was predictable, and all that backing up ended in a crescendo of nothingness. Sitting through all the annoying rewinds produced nothing special for the viewer. Not one thing. The one comment from our movie group was about how inexpensive it probably was to make this film, since they got to use the same scenes over and over and over again. Ugh!

It starred an ensemble cast filled with a few has-beens, which didn't elevate the excitement any. William Hurt played the president like a piece of cardboard, and Dennis Quaid played the same character type he always does.

From this Vantage Point, I think I just wasted $8 and two hours that, unfortunately, I can't rewind and get back. Ugh.

I give it 1.5 stars for car crashes, but that's about it.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Lordy, lordy...look who's 40!


Happy Birthday, and hubba hubba.